Disciples II: Servants of the Dark
this review youíre going to see a lot of parallels between it and my
review of Guardians of the Light (GotL).
This is simply because these two expansion packs are two sides of
the same coin, largely being the same with only a scant few differences.
Despite Servants of the Dark giving fans of Disciples II a chance
to once more venture forth into Nevendaar, the core gameplay is barely
any different and there are hardly any new features, or anything else
new for that matter, for gamers to sink their teeth into.
Servants of the Dark (SotD) is a stand alone expansion pack with a new advanced campaign for high-level characters and a number of new quests as well as containing the original game, but really the only thing of note that is new in this product are the missions. No new characters, no new spells, just new missions. The real kicker is that it only feels like half of a gold edition re-release of the game, since there is just so little that is new about this expansion pack. With that comes a tough decision for both fans of the series and green rookies. Considering that gamers can buy Dark Prophecy for a song these days, and the lack of substantial newness all divided over two games that run for about $20US each, itís very hard to recommend this expansion pack. Unless you are a huge fan of Disciples II, getting SotD isnít worth it considering thereís a far beefier, not to mention less expensive alternative readily available.
The events of SotD follow that of the Daemon and the Undead. The daemon, having failed to release their master in the events of Dark Prophecy are now out for wanton death and destruction, now on a mission to raze the land, destroying everything in their path. The Undead have something a little more personal up their sleeve. The god of the elves is back in the world, and he happens to be an ex-beau of the goddess Mortis, who now commands the undead. Over time Mortis has become
insanely jealous of the elven
dumping her and is now unleashing her forces in an effort to utterly
wipe out the elves, one of the elven godís most cherished creations
gameplay in SotD is just the same as in Dark Prophecy.
Itís certainly not a bad thing, as the battles and tech tree
were top notch there. The
most notable tweak in the battles in SotD is that players can now
automatically resolve them. Itís
a very handy addition, so you donít have to manually trudge through
some of the easier battles, instead bringing them to a swift end.
There is some frustration that comes in playing the high level
campaigns in the game though. Most
notably is that you need a hero that is at least of level 10 in order to
play them. Now, most people
who have Dark Prophecy have likely long since uninstalled the game,
summarily kissing their buffed heroes goodbye.
Thankfully Strategy First kept this in mind, as they have
included some powerful heroes on the game disc for players to use
instead of playing the whole game over again to import them. The
problem comes in that the heroes are hidden on the disc and you need to
trudge through the gameís readme file in order to track them down.
It would have been nice to actually have them setup in the
gameís options menu so players donít have to jump through these
needless hoops to get on track for the high-level campaigns.
Also a pain is that
players can only transfer one hero over to the next mission still, so
they must once more start from scratch with their basic units and build
them up. This becomes a
royal pain when you consider that youíre surrounded by incredibly
strong enemies at every turn in the high-level campaigns, who will often
mop the floor with your new company of rookies.
It isnít the end of the world, though, since in the grand
scheme of things the new missions are still manageable.
Just be prepared for some frustrating routings now and then.
visuals of the game have not by any means gotten long in the tooth since
Dark Prophecy was released a year ago.
The art has definitely withstood the test of time, really
standing apart from a lot of games out there.
The music and sound is just as good as it has ever been too,
though it is disappointing that the voice-overs are gone before each
and large, SotD just doesnít bring enough to the table.
The new missions are fun, but the fact that this expansion has
been divided from itís evil counterpart and the overall sense of the
game actually being Disciples II Gold Edition 0.5 makes the game feel
like a gyp when you can get so much more out of the original Disciples
II for a fraction of the cost. And
for those of you who are ardent fans of Disciples II and would like to
go on more missions, waiting for a price drop or for SotD to start
popping up in the Used Bin at the game stores may be the best option,
because this game just isnít a $20US value.
(August 10, 2003)
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